Chasing Cars

Are we chasing cars like a tiny, dog?

I am driving with a friend the other day in this small town. It was one of those places where kids ride their bikes on the streets, so when you drive it’s like playing a video game only it’s real. Cars are parked randomly along the way. We watch for kids, but we aren’t ready for the sudden yap, yap, yap of a dog leaping toward us, chasing the darn car for way too long. All I am thinking is, what parasite has infested this dog?

I know people who continually date. They hop from one relationship to another, not pausing long enough to evaluate why the last one ended. Sometimes there are painful endings but other instances, nope. It’s a thing we do in life. Pursue our goals. Chart the course to Nirvana. Are you chasing cars? Do you have the parasite?

I wonder if I’m unhappy because my job is wrong or if I don’t understand happiness. There’s the song, Chasing Waterfalls, which talks about people who push through life too fast. Don’t go chasing waterfalls. Stick to the rivers you know. Is it possible to have the perfect job or the ideal relationship? Would I know it? There’s no test I can take to tell me YOU ARE HERE, so I am the little creature chasing–something.

“Chasing waterfalls” song

The little dog when he’s chasing cars, is he scaring them away or trying to catch one? Slow down fido! Take a roll in the grass. And go find that chew toy you lost.

Ithaka poem

As you set out for Ithaka, hope your road is a long one. full of adventure, full of discovery…

(for absolutely no reason at all)

Hope your road is a long one. May there be many summer mornings when,

with what pleasure, what joy,

(so many delights you forget why you came on your journey)

….And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you. Wise as you will have become, so full of experience, you’ll have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.

(boys and men and relationships will not for chasing. Life will be a pleasure.)

BY C. P. CAVAFY. (parenthesis added for my delight)

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Hope

CdOVbD_WAAEEZzRTime is closing in on me. It’s been a problem of claustrophobia. Lack of oxygen. Not enough air. Maybe it’s depression. If I listened to the doctors, they’d give me another pill. I don’t need another. I’d like to take fewer thanks! Maybe the ones I use are causing the issue. Well, yeah, could be.

One thing I realized finally is that I’m not alone.  Society has been steadily growing more complicated. And it’s been creeping up on us all. More demanding. Greedy. Our boundaries have become porous, and we have to be the ones to say, STOP!

Bob Lefsetz in his Letter says – Who’s gonna lead us out of the wilderness? Artists. If they just grab the wheel and start to drive.

Here’s my thing-I don’t fit into the entrepreneur’s gig. I’m not aggressive enough to work on my own. I like the umbrella of a company paying my income. Unfortunately, it pigeon-holes me into the 9 to 5 cubicle workforce.

Maybe I’m looking at this wrong. The creative side of me likes to have fun. Books, movies, and music make me happy. Get my light burning again.

Gordon White from Rune Soup suggests we turn to literature for restoration

And he brings up another reason, social media, and the difficulty of speaking out, which I mentioned in my blog We Have Wet Feet 

There is another reason why creatives may want to think very seriously about unfurling their towel on this part of the beach. It is getting more and more difficult to say anything real publicly. The pH level of the discourse is hovering around 2. (Acid rain starts below 4.)

We’ve all felt this. We really only fire up social media for private conversations now. Venturing out into its public discussions is akin to looking down at the fork in your hand and realising you weren’t doing anything else with that other eye, anyway. – Gordon White

Lately, I’ve questioned my choices. Should I be more assertive? Do the Tim Ferriss thing? Jump from the airplane and be an adventurous person? I know, I know. It’s a ridiculous thing to ponder. I don’t even have a plan. It’s all self-doubt and speculation, but it’s there, sitting and waiting, in the back of my mind. I won’t do it really. I’ll read more books.

I’m just a creative needing to breathe.

The Cost of Fish

Almost everyone has a fish story and it’s usually not about the fish that got away. No, the tale they bemoan is the about the fish they caught or the one they stayed with and they probably should have thrown back. Relationships, jobs, towns they stayed at because they were familiar and they’ve always lived there. These are my thoughts today. Should we follow a whim? Take a chance? And what if it doesn’t work out? And like me, have you forgotten how to have fun?

In most towns, there’s a carnival our kids drag us to. We spend a ton of money to gorge on fried snickers, cotton candy, funnel cakes, popcorn, and we often end up carrying around a couple of half dead goldfish in a clear plastic bag. Junior won them. Way to go little tyke! So here we are in line at the superstore, the cashier’s ringing up your purchases. The tank, food, gravel, and water purifier are all yours for a grand total of $50.00. Charlie, fish number one might live through the first day. You’ve got a decision to make. Buy another fish to replace Charlie or let the whole episode die of natural causes?

Whimsical

Most of us, including me, are not good at taking off on a whim. Quick changes. If I have a hankering for ice cream in the middle of the night, I’ll usually ignore it and go back to sleep. But there are some people I know that would go to the extreme, beyond even the ice cream in the middle of the night. I know a person who if they felt the urge to go skiing, and if there were ski slopes available, would drive across country, just on the whim. They could ski just one day, and be good to go back to work when they came home. And here I can barely get myself out of the house to take out the garbage.

I’m really not talking about goldfish. Life is expensive. Someone once told me, having a car costs. One way or another you’re going to pay for having the luxury of driving. Whether you repair it if it’s used or if you buy it new and pay for its newness. Truthfully all of life is that way. That $50.00 will be spent somewhere, whether you spend it on the goldfish or on pizza. The choice is where do you want to spend it.

My question is, what is this costing me? Every day that I sit and not act on an urge and every time that I suppress a desire to play and I choose to work instead, what is this costing me? Sometimes when you’re just putting up with stuff, you’re only taking the easy way out. If something is continually chafing you in a situation, it’s a good sign that it’s time to change. It might be time to cut our losses and get out.

How much does it cost?
  • Health
  • Happiness
  • Memory
  • Friendships
  • Self esteem

Thanks to Christi for the goldfish inspiration – if you’re reading, you know who you are!

Pajamas Are For Wearing All Day Long

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase “each other” doesn’t make any sense.

mevlana jelaluddin rumi – 13th century

One thing that I wish is to walk past the idea of right and wrong – and to keep walking until we no longer notice other people’s expectations or even our expectations. I would like us to keep stepping through the tall grass until we can actually say that we ARE. No more guilt for not loving enough or not saying the correct words. I want us to live. To run with joy to the top of the hill and then roll down the other side to nowhere in particular.  I would like to spin and swing until I drop to the ground with laughter.

Do you get the idea? I no longer want you or I to hesitate just because someone didn’t approve of us. Walk to the beat of your drum and feel how good it is to not be rushed or pushed or forced to someone else’s pace. And if you want – to skip or run. Go with all of your gusto.

If wearing your pajamas all day long in your house makes you happy and keeping you window open at night helps you breathe easier then do so. If you like eggs for supper and hotdogs for breakfast, guess what? It can be just as you want it to be. This life is your life. These are your rules.

—This is an EXCERPT from my book Get Your Life Back Now!  and will soon be available on Nook with Barnes and Noble when my account is approved. Usually that’s within the 72 hour time frame. I’ll provide a link on my sidebar. Thanks for everyone’s support.  I’m skipping the post next week since I’ll be too busy visiting with family. Until next time – have a great week.

Bird In the Parking Lot

Birds in the parking lot freak me out. I stopped at the grocery store on my way home the other day. I was in a rush because I needed to file an insurance claim on my car, pick up a birthday present for my mom, plus it was 100 degrees outside and I only wanted to go home. I’m trying to decide which item to check off on my list first when I see this big-eyed bird staring at me. Correction. Big-eyed-opportunistic-looking bird. He’s watching and waiting.

Great-Tailed Grackle (Male), Rockport Beach Park, Rockport, Texas
Great-Tailed Grackle (Male), Rockport Beach Park, Rockport, Texas

One lone bird and my thoughts are, why are you here? Of all of the places to be, this is not where I’d pick. There’s a park just 50 feet across the street, but this bird is in the middle of the stinking pavement with chaos and honking cars. Alone. Then I realize, we are similar creatures.
People rarely move far from their birthplace. So before I go judging the bird’s choices, maybe I should take a closer look at my own. Still, this bird looks creepy.

I Don’t Build Monuments to My Sorrows

It’s so easy to remember the bad times. It’s easy to sit down and have a good wallow in your pain. Who of us hasn’t? I can’t raise my hand. There are times I catch myself sorting and cataloging my mental memories. What was the particular phrase the person hurt me with? I should have handled it differently. The pain. The loss. The unfairness.

Sorrow hits us all. How we handle it is up to us. It shows what we are made of. Are we going to stuff it away and shut the closet door? Or do we open our big chest of lost dreams and broken promises to reminisce every holiday or special occasion?

We know what a monument is. We have our cemeteries. They help us to remember life is short. And they also remind us of the loves we’ve had. We bring our loved ones gifts of flowers and trinkets, sharing our memories, a slice of yesterday. There is Stonehenge in Britain, Taj Mahal, India’s symbol of love, the Statue of Liberty stands for freedom and the list could go on.

We also have walls of pictures. Our galleries of trophies. Glory days. I have beads from a local cover band from a night out I enjoyed. Ticket stubs from concerts and movies with friends. Every time I see them it takes me back to the fun. I get that giddy feeling that bubbles up. Good times. Good friends. Why I walk.  These trinkets remind me of a life I lived.

Sometimes we tell our kids about their long-lost relatives. The time that their great grampy tried to bake a cake. Or the war hero uncle who bought a doll for us from overseas. We get out the old photos and relive the past. sometimes we laugh and sometimes we cry. These monuments help build a sense of belonging in our children and grandchildren. They let us know we belong. Even though these are bittersweet memories and we have to wipe a tear or two, they still build hope. We are sharing lives and teaching important moments. We are building monuments.

With these good monuments you would think there wouldn’t be any room left over for sad memories, yet we have them. We have monuments and trinkets that remind us of them also. So these days when I slip into that morose mood, I stop myself. There is no reason to keep any item in my house or in my life that makes me sad. If it’s a book, jewelry, clothing, or just a photo and it reminds me of pain or brings me sadness, it has to go. I can either give it away or toss it in the dumpster. If I must keep it, then I store it away. There is no need to build a monument to my pain. Sorrows don’t deserve that much of my energy.

It’s a lot like a river flowing. There’s usually jetties, spots where sticks and leaves, even trash get trapped. Along the sides of the river or around, the large logs and boulders, the water flows through but the twigs get stuck. If there’s a heavy rain it usually washes this all downstream.  Enter friendly beaver. He traps the water intentionally. This is his way of catching a meal. When I get out a favorite picture of someone I love, I’m intentionally collecting energy. It’s love. And the energy floods my entire body and stays with me throughout most of the day. Everyone I bump into or talk to can share bits of this energy. I can use it for my health or put it into a cause I feel strongly about.

In contrast, if I have a bottle of perfume left over from an ex friend or ex boyfriend, I’m constantly remembering that person. I stew over the last fight we had. I feel the pang of my loss. And it’s not healthy for me, much like picking the scab off of a wound or bathing in sewer water. I have no room in my life to remember hatred. I have no room for holding on to grievances.

Mostly I choose reminders of joy and love. I put them up on my mirrors and tuck them into drawers where I’ll bump into them. Like the glow-in-the-dark skeleton gloves I found in my sock drawer from a Halloween party I went to years ago. Good times.